Toyota Motor said on Tuesday it expects to spend more than $13.5 billion (about INR 99,030 crores) by 2030 to develop batteries and its battery supply system – a bid to lead key automotive technology in the next decade .
The world’s largest automaker by volume, which pioneered gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles with the popular Prius, is now moving quickly to deliver its first all-electric line next year.
Considered a leader in battery development for electric vehicles, Toyota said it intends to reduce the cost of its batteries by 30 percent or more by working on the materials used and the way the cells are structured.
“So for the vehicle, we aim to improve energy consumption, which is an indicator of the amount of electricity used per kilometer, by 30 percent, starting with the Toyota bZ4X,” technology director Masahiko Maeda said at a briefing, referring to up to an upcoming compact SUV model.
The company is also a pioneer in the mass production of solid-state batteries — a potential game changer for automakers because they are more energy-dense, charge faster and are less likely to catch fire. If successfully developed, they can replace liquid lithium ion batteries.
Although he is still struggling with the short lifespan of these cells, Maeda said there has been no change in Toyota’s goal of starting solid-state batteries in the mid-2020s.
“We are still looking for the best materials to use,” he said.
Efforts to mass produce solid-state batteries have failed, as they are expensive to manufacture and are subject to cracking when they expand and contract during use.
Toyota also plans to use solid-state batteries in hybrid electric vehicles like the Prius, he said.
© Thomson Reuters 2021